Human Rights Watch says drug war ‘devastates’ children’s lives
MANILA, Philippines — The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a new web feature Friday that the government’s war against drugs “devastates” the lives of Filipino children.
The web feature, titled “Collateral Damage: The Children of Duterte’s War on Drugs,” shares stories of children who have suffered from the impacts of the administration’s centerpiece campaign.
The HRW said the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte should not just end the violence of the drug war but also provide necessary services to lessen the damage that “abuses” by the police have caused children whose parents have died in anti-drug operations.
“No child should experience the loss of a parent or other family member to extrajudicial killings or witness such horrific violence at the hands of police or hitmen,” said Carlos Conde, author of the web feature.
“The toll of the Philippines’ ‘drug war’ does not end with the killing of a drug suspect, but may extend to their children, often completely destroying families,” he said.
The HRW said that among the 6,600 killed in anti-drug operations based on unofficial government data are children.
It added that the children who were affected by the drug war, whom the group had interviewed, had experienced difficulty eating, stopped going to school, or developed aggressive behavior.
Three children interviewed by HRW ended up living on the streets after their parents were killed in police operations.
“The tragic stories of children victimized by the Philippines’ ‘drug war’ should energize the UN Human Rights Council to bolster efforts to put an end to the killings,” Conde said. “The Philippine government needs to be held accountable for the suffering of these children.” (Editor: Eden Estopace)